'You might not see your parents again' children told by school

Newington Church of England Primary School Image copyright Google
Image caption The school said the scenario was to help the children understand what it felt like to be a refugee

A school has apologised for telling pupils they would be taken away and might not see their parents again, in what later emerged as role play.

The children at Newington Church of England Primary School in Sittingbourne were aged between four and 11 and received the news in Friday assembly.

The scenario had not been discussed with parents or senior staff first, the school admitted.

It said the exercise was part of a week of learning about refugees.

In a statement, the school said: "We intended to provide a scenario that would enable the children to empathise with those we were raising money for.

'Stress and anxiety'

"In future all activities of this nature will be discussed with a member of the senior leadership team prior to being undertaken.

"Only options that allow the children to empathise and understand without causing them unnecessary stress and anxiety will be considered and approved."

The school said the message could have been delivered in "a more appropriate manner" and has apologised to parents and children.

It had been taking part in Christian Aid's refugee week.

Charity Christian Aid, for whom the school has fundraised, said: "We have very little information about what pupils were actually told in the assembly, but we would never recommend any teaching approaches that put undue stress on children."

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